Wednesday, May 18, 2011

More Information

This morning I woke up to an email from our District Superintendent in Australia. He is the one who has been communicating with us about the immigration office and what they need from us. He informed us that the immigration office needs more information from us in order to receive confirmation of our nomination (the last thing we need for our visa). They need evidence that we will not be a financial burden on the country for the 2 years that we are there. Basically, we need to send them our budget and how it is broken down. We need to prove to them that our funds have been raised and how we will receive the funds while we are there. Thankfully, we can easily do this! The last time they needed information we had to run all over town for 2 days to try to get what they needed. Then, at the end of the email, he said that the immigration office will plan on looking at our case again on May 30th. Please pray with us that this will be the last thing that they need so that we can leave for Australia soon.

Waiting has been difficult, as we've expressed before. Last night, Sean and I were praying that God would some how give us some sort of encouragement to know that things were still moving along since it had been so long since we'd heard anything. Even though the email this morning wasn't exactly what we wanted to hear, I am so grateful to know that they are looking at our application. We know that they are looking at it again in 2 weeks. Please pray that we would stay encouraged and that this is the last thing they need! We truly appreciate all of your support.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Whatever seems good to You

We turned our Visa applications in at the end of January and ever since then we have anxiously been awaiting the day when we are finally approved to head to Australia. In the beginning it was so exciting. We knew that it would be about a 2-3 month wait but we were up for it. We were thinking about what to pack and looking at plane tickets! At first it seemed like things were moving along quickly and we were hoping to leave sometime in March or April. Sadly that didn't happen. We were asked to get more information for the Embassy, so we did. As we mentioned before, now the only thing that we are waiting on is the church in Australia's nomination for us to come work for them to be approved. 6 weeks ago they asked for more information and said that as soon as they got it, the nomination would be approved immediately. That didn't happen. Then, 3 weeks ago the Australian Embassy said that we would get it within 2 weeks. And here we are. Still no nomination approval....which means still no visa. I've honestly been a little down lately. It seemed like everything was going so smoothly, then this last piece of the puzzle has been taking a long time. Every morning I check my email hoping that the nomination has been approved, but the email hasn't come. It seemed like we were so close, and now the idea of serving in Australia seems so far away.

Last week I was reading the book The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley. Very good book by the way. I'd recommend it :) The whole book is about, "how to get from where you are, to where you want to be." Stanley talks about how to direct your life in a way that leads you to become the husband, wife, daughter, son, student, steward, parent, etc. that you want to be. At the end though, he discusses what happens if what you've wanted your whole life doesn't happen because of something that is out of your control like cancer, loss of a loved one and many others. He suggests that there are 2 ways to respond to this. 1. You could get angry with God, live your dreams through other people, you could despair, turn to alcohol, etc....Or 2. "You can drop to your knees and cry out in disappointment to your heavenly Father. You can mourn the loss of your dream, then wipe the tears from your eyes and say to God, 'Do to me whatever seems good to You. I still believe. I still trust. And I will continue to follow.'" Obviously, I cannot completely relate to the idea of losing a dream, but that last line he said really hit home for me. "Whatever seems good to You." I know in my head that God's timing is perfect. I know in my head that there is a reason that Sean and I are here for longer than we expected (if you remember our goal was February). But, I feel like when reading that yesterday, God finally made me understand in my heart.

I have lots of plans in my head of the way that I think things should go, but his timing and his will are so much better. We have been able to be a part of life changing events with family that we never would have if we left when we wanted to. This morning, when I checked my email I wasn't disappointed. I just said to myself, "whatever seems good to You."

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Family Time and Sweet Good-byes

This past weekend we traveled down to South Florida for my cousin Rob's wedding. It was a quick weekend but it was so good to get to spend more time with them before we leave! The wedding was beautiful and we are so excited for Rob and Miken as they start their new life together :) As we were leaving the wedding, I realized that this would be the last time that we would see all of my family for a long time, with the exception of my parents. It was so hard to say good-bye and there were lots of tears, but we know that we are going where God is calling us. Below we've shared a few pictures from the weekend. We feel so blessed to be able to see my family so much in the last few months because they all live so far away!

The whole clan minus a few

The beautiful Bride and Groom-Miken and Rob

My wonderful family!

As for a missions update-No new news sadly. We are still waiting on the nomination to be approved. We got an email saying that we were assigned a new case officer for our visas. He informed us that there is no other paperwork that we need (expect for the nomination). We're hoping that means we'll receive them soon! Please pray that they would come! Thank you for all of your support!